October 20, 2017

life, lately...

life, lately | yourwishcake.com
As of right now, the weather early next week will be hovering around 104 (October in Southern California is dead to me) but that didn't stop me from making a batch of my favorite pumpkin chocolate chip cookies a couple days ago. Which I definitely brought to add to our brunch menu at my weekly mommy group. After all, cookies for breakfast are always a good choice. We're just lucky (or perhaps unfortunate) that I didn't slather these with frosting before putting them on the tray. 

Give me all the sugar, please and thank you.

(If you want to make some of this goodness yourself, here's the recipe I always use—I just use coconut oil in place of vegetable oil and leave out the walnuts. These are soft, cake-like cookies that I think taste best when kept in the refrigerator, so the chocolate chips add a bit of a satisfying crunch.)

These days, I'm doing a lot of the I'm-three-months-from-having-a-baby nesting, which includes (but is not limited to): going through my entire wardrobe and getting rid of things I never wear, organizing my dreaded Monica Closet, dusting under our couches, scrubbing the floorboards, and making a secret Goodwill pile in the garage of toys and other things the girls will never miss (until the moment they see them in said pile). The idea of minimalism will always be something that appeals to me, and some days all I want is to just get rid of half our stuff. As it is, I'm pretty good when it comes to keeping things simple and not overbuying...and yet I can still easily do a solid Goodwill run at least twice a year. It boggles the mind.

As I said before, we are three months away from welcoming our third child to the world—and, coincidentally, finding out whether we can pull out our bin of baby girl clothes or if we need to do a Target run for some of the outrageously cute boy clothes I keep seeing there. We found out the gender with both our daughters and really never had the desire to wait to find out...but it's just the way things worked out this time around. (It's a long story.) People keep telling me, "Oh, my gosh! I could never wait!" And I keep telling them, "Seriously! Me, neither!" Because, honestly, once I was actually pregnant I never had the desire to wait until the birth to find out the sex. I'm definitely a planner, and I loved feeling more of a connection with the baby after I found out whether we were planning for pink or blue. 

Yet, here we are, and I'm actually enjoying the waiting a little bit. Who knew? And, really, I have a feeling the next few months will be here and gone in a moment, given the last trimester will be filled with the holidays and all the other busyness this time of year brings. (Perfect timing. Thank you, baby.)

Life has felt very full lately, but in a good way. We've been busy with visits from a couple of my sisters, our weekly commitments, homeschool mornings (and afternoons), library trips, Disneyland days, running around outside when the perfect autumn weather is here for more than five minutes, and all the other goodness that fills our days. I'm craving calm and simplicity, and I'm glad that I have purposely not over scheduled us this year. That way, when something additional comes up, it doesn't set me into a panic, and I'm almost always still sure to have at least a couple days during the week when we don't have somewhere we absolutely have to be. We rarely have a day when we don't leave the house for some reason or another (even if it's just groceries or a library run), but having too many regular commitments completely stresses me out. Call me a homebody, but I don't think I'll ever be the mom driving their kids all over the city all week long from activity to activity. Never, ever.

Other than that...things are going well. This pregnancy doesn't feel that much different from my first two, aside from feeling like my belly is much larger this time around. I'm also extremely exhausted and even had my doctor run some additional tests during my last prenatal appointment, to which I was given the diagnosis of Being Pregnant While Also Raising Two Other Children. It was not very helpful, but still I carry on.

Of course, if this the worst thing I'm dealing with during this pregnancy, then I'll take it! I mean, 8:30PM bedtimes aren't too shabby. Sometimes they're absolutely fantastic. The other night I wistfully asked my husband if he remembered our younger years, back when we didn't go to bed before 9PM. (I don't remember him answering. He actually may have already been asleep.)

At least we're both in this together, right? Right.

October 18, 2017

inside my Ipsy bag: October 2017...

inside my Ipsy bag, October 2017 | yourwishcake.com
First of all, I hope all of you new Ipsy subscribers loved your October bag as much as I did! This one is another of my favorites, for sure, and once again I'm going to use every single item I received. (It is still crazy to me how consistently great these bags are. I get so excited to see that obnoxiously pink mailer in our mailbox every month—it's a little embarrassing.)

inside my Ipsy bag, October 2017 | yourwishcake.com
The bag itself is rather pretty this month (complete with friendly little bat zipper pull) but if I start keeping more than one of these at a time for myself, it's a slippery slope to hoarder status. Trust me on this. Instead, I will encourage my 6 year old's hoarding and give this one to her to use for crayons, hair clips, or important legal documents that she needs to keep track of in her rather busy day-to-day life.

See below for the goodness I received this month:
inside my Ipsy bag, October 2017 | yourwishcake.com
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder — I was excited to try out some new powder this month—especially something that is regularly priced way beyond what I would ever spend. (Half the fun of Ipsy is getting to try products that I'd never afford in "real" life.) The powder itself looks outrageously light, even for a fair gal like myself, but once I put it on it worked beautifully. It claims to make your skin look as though it has no pores, and I must say this was not the case for me. But I actually prefer to not look like an airbrushed magazine ad, and having pores makes me human, so I shall embrace them. That said, the powder is fantastic and I will definitely continue using this sample! I'm happy to have something small to throw in my purse for on-the-go.

Nail Medic Polish in Volcanic Ash — Hooray! Nail polish! I get a little too excited when they include polish in a color that makes me swoony. See further down this post for a better photo of the color and some more thoughts on the actual polish.

Tarte Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara — This mascara works very well and doesn't make me smudgy at all by the end of the day (which is always the challenge for someone with deep-set eyes). It's a winner, for sure.

BLAQ Mask — I'm sure that by this point in life most of you have watched a YouTube video of someone trying to remove a charcoal mask and it basically ruining their life. This made me hesitant to even try this one out, because I had flashbacks to my teen years and Biore pore strips and let's just say I wasn't eager to go back there. However, I did try this mask just on my nose and along my cheeks and what do you know? It wasn't actually bad. And my skin was crazy-soft after I peeled it off. Perhaps next time I'll be brave and try my forehead and chin, too...

Context Skin Vitamin C All Day Eye Cream — I'm most excited about this eye cream, because I'm in my thirties and products like this are actually on my radar now. This tiny tube will probably last me six months or more because you need so little of it every day. I'm absolutely loving it so far! My goal is to use it every night and every morning. But I guess that means I have to wash my face every night, so...we'll see. (I may be in my thirties, but I'm guilty of treating my skin like a college kid at times. Oops.)

inside my Ipsy bag, October 2017 | yourwishcake.com
Is this how fancy people take photos of their nails? Let's just go with it. I almost never have my fingernails painted these days (gone are the days of my beloved, weekly at-home french manicures) but I really liked the color polish they sent me this month and decided to try it out right away. This photo is after two coats, but before I added the topcoat (the topcoat made it extra shiny, and I'm rather pleased with the result).

If you're interested in signing up to receive your own Ipsy bags, feel free to use my referral link! Each month you'll receive a customized selection of 5 beauty products tucked into a little bag for only $10. You can cancel any time and aren't required to pay for anything beyond a month-to-month subscription. I pay for each of these bags myself and am not being paid to review these products—I just legitimately love and recommend Ipsy to people in "real life" and want to share the goodness here, too! If you use my referral link, I receive points on my account that I can redeem for extra beauty products, but that's it.

What did you receive this month? Any new favorites?

— Further reading: September's Ipsy bag

Affiliate links included in this post; view my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support!

October 11, 2017

a free cleaning kit from Grove Collaborative...

It's been while since I've blogged regularly enough to be able to offer a freebie like this to all of you lovelies, but this month I'm back at it! The folks at Grove Collaborative are offering all new customers their exclusive cleaning concentrates bundle (worth over $30) with your first order of $20 or more.

For the last couple years, I've ditched regular all-purpose cleaners for homemade versions, and I must say: I'm never going back. I typically use a concentrate blend from Young Living or this favorite recipe, but I'm loving the convenience and simplicity of the Grove Collaborative concentrates. I'm basically obsessed with their glass spray bottles (I have several I use regularly) and this set comes with one that also has a silicone sleeve, which not only looks pretty sitting on my kitchen counter but is also much more safe.

I've been a loyal Grove customer for years now, and can't say enough about this company. And just because I'm an affiliate doesn't mean I'm swimming in free products in order to promote them—most months I continue to order from them, referral credits or not (which is saying something for this gal, who is quite addicted to Amazon Prime). They have such a huge selection of natural and organic products at great prices, and I love everything I've tried from their own brand, as well. They have everything you need from home and cleaning to baby and beauty—from brands like Method, Mrs. Meyer's, Acure Organics, Babyganics and so many more.

Yes, I love them so.

If you've been waiting to become a customer, now is a great time to snag this bundle for free! See below for all the details:
free Grove Collaborative cleaning kit | yourwishcake.comfree Grove Collaborative cleaning kit | yourwishcake.com
Here is what is included in the bundle you will receive:
  • set of three cleaning concentrates (includes all purpose, glass, tub + tile)
  • set of three microfiber cleaning cloths
  • glass spray bottle with silicone sleeve
  • free shipping on this + all orders for the next 60 days (always a favorite)
And here's now to get it!
1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here. You will receive the concentrates bundle for free when you sign up!

2. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and want to receive in your first box.

3. You made it! Click Finish & Pay and you'll receive your order within a few days.

— I know some of you are already Grove Collaborative customers, so if you're in the mood to receive some walnut scrubbers with your next shipment, just click on over here and they'll be added for free. Hooray!

This offer is good through Sunday, October 15th, 2017 at 6PM PST.

As a reminder, you are never required to make any purchase from Grove Collaborative beyond the first shipment you receive. Every month they will send you an email letting you know your monthly order will ship soon—from there, you can either empty your basket to skip a month, fill your basket with whatever you happen to need, or cancel your account altogether. No pressure!
free Grove Collaborative cleaning kit | yourwishcake.com
I hope some of you are able to take advantage of this great deal and begin ditching your harsher daily cleaners for good. Baby steps to green living are the best steps, my friends. Enjoy!

Affiliate links included in this post; view my disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support!